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The Halloween Bash

David North Posted:
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ArenaNet continues to bombard us with Halloween fun in Guild Wars 2.  Last week we went over how they kicked things off, but with more acts to the event now playable there’s even more to do.  The event has been split into 4 different acts, with 3 of them now playable as I’m typing.  Each act brings more madness to the land of Tyria, but are these additions really enough to satisfy your craving for Halloween terror?

When the Halloween event first kicked off, we were given some neat clues to a scavenger hunt, which rewarded us with not only a fun time, but also a cool item. After finding all the pages to the biography of the Mad King, you received the book to wear as a back piece.  Act 2 unlocked the last half of the scavenger hunt featuring special group events.  Once again we were rewarded with an item, a more complete edition of the biography of the Mad King Thorn which features better stats.  It also looks way better than the first!

It’s tough to read a book that’s on fire. Make you look like you mean business though.

The haunted doors grew more powerful during Act 2.  The doors are now a portal into the Mad King’s realm.  The realm is spilt into 4 parts that offered a unique experience.  First you have the labyrinth.  This area was a large stone labyrinth that housed tons of candy corn nodes, enemies, and challenging dynamic events.  I would suggest taking your guild out through here to have a fun time.  Be careful though, it’s a level 80 area.  If you haven’t reached level 80 there’s nothing to worry about, the game will boost you up while in the labyrinth so you can join in on the fun.

The next two areas are a bit more competitive.  You are thrown into a team to do battle against other players.  Now the combat isn’t like your average PvP session. You are granted a new set of skills.  One has you fighting as members of the living, or haunting ghosts of the realm to serve the Mad King.  Combat is a bit slower, and requires you to often use items that you find on the ground. If a living player is killed, they are turned into a ghost to destroy their old allies.  Once again, this one is pretty slow-paced, and didn’t grab my attention.  But other players seem to keep coming back for more.

The Reaper’s Rumble is the other PvP experience. Players use axes and rifles to command an army of skeletons to rule the graveyard.  This map was very fast paced, and that’s why I loved it.  It was easier to get some teamwork going, and being able to command an army of skeletons added a cool strategic twist to PvP (almost like a dumbed down game of League of Legends).  It was also fun to finish off my enemies with an aimed rifle shot.

The last area of the Mad King’s Realm is an area built from nightmares.  I’m talking about the Clock Tower.  This is probably the toughest jumping puzzle in the entire game.  You are grouped with a number of other players, in an instance, to try and tackle the puzzle all at once.  The puzzle  has you  jump on pieces of floating debris around the clock tower, as a green vortex chases you up, giving you little time to think.  Since you’re with a group of people, you all attempt it at once.  If you fail you are brought to a waiting area to sit until the other players fail as well.  If the waiting wasn’t painful enough, smaller Asuran characters were having a tough time seeing themselves through the mass of other players.  Good thing I’m a Charr.  This puzzle was very challenging, and had many players cursing the puzzle, other players, and even the Gods.

After about the 20th attempt, you may start to go a little crazy.

Act 3 hit us on Sunday, featuring the Mad King himself bursting through the lion statue on Lions Arch, greeting players with an evil laugh.  Another portal to his realm was opened featuring a neat dungeon for players to go through.  The first part of the fight featured a player in the group being tasked with playing “Mad King Says”, which is what players would play in the original Guild Wars.  It was pretty neat to see it come back, but it was a bit awkward to burst out in dance while being attacked by enemies.  In the end the dungeon seemed to focus more on fun, than difficulty.  I completed it multiple times while in groups with low level characters.

Who's laughing now?!

As each second on his clock tower ticks away, the Mad King is patiently waiting for his time to rule in Guild Wars 2.  Even though his rule will be short lived, ArenaNet will make sure it will leave memories of fear and terror in the minds of the players.  In my book, this was a spooktacular event, and a great sign of things to come for future holidays in Tyria.  Also, I apologize for the preceding pun.

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David North